Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello 2009, you lookin fine!

Out with the old and in with the new.
You can't live in the past.
Live for today.

Happy New Year my faithful readers, may the coming calendar year bring you all kinds of good fun and enjoyment.

Hope you are all having a safe holiday!

Yoshimoto cube kicks ass!

Feast your eyes!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don Hertzfeldt

A few friends from middle school/high school used to do an underground comic a few times a year called pencil wars. It was mostly teen violence/angst lashing out against the oppressive school administration. They were so cool. This is what I imagined they looked like in my head.



You Might Be Elitist #2

If you do things the hard way just on principal... you might be an elitist.

Example: I'm in the process of some infrastructure shifting for a small business. They currently use Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 RC2 using Windows XP SP3 workstations.

In order to simplify things they are moving to a more homogeneous environment (all workstations will be exactly the same, there are only 4 so its not as big of a deal as it sounds).

Now I COULD stick with the SBS2003 installation, but there are a lot of things that I don't like about it. It DOES work pretty well, most of the time. Here is a list of things that I wish I could change:
  • Remote management WITHOUT having IE

    SBS2003 uses the RWW (Remote Web Workplace) in order to allow you to connect to a secure website and do things like check email (Outlook Web Access), Run Reports (status/use reports for server) and connect to the server & desktops. Most people look at the RWW as the strongest feature you get in SBS that you DON'T get in other Server environments (Either Microsoft server or any other server installation). For me it is a hindrance. I don't run IE, because I use Ubuntu for my OS. If I need to remotely administer or remotely connect to any of the computers at this location I have to start my XP virtual machine and connect from within there. It is the last "gotta have windows for this" thing in my migration from Windows to Linux.

  • Expensive client licensing

    Small Business Server 2003 Standard costs $639.99 according to Newegg.com. That includes a whole 5 CAL license. What does that mean? It means 2 things: 1. you have to choose user/machine licensing scheme. 2. you can only have 5 connected to the server at one time. This is pretty limiting. If you want 6 computers you need to spend an additional $349.99 according to Newegg.com This very quickly drives the cost of the server up, this is completely exclusive of any desktop costs. Oh yea... if you want to include SQL in the package the cost goes up more. Though at some point around the 15 user mark the cost of cal's becomes more then the cost of the server, even with SQL, so the more people you have the less it matters.

  • Unused services

    This is not as big of an issue for me as the other two items previously mentioned, but it is still something I would like to see addressed. Something I realized, running your own mail server is stressful. A lot of a business' ability to function hinges on access to email and telephone. Even if things are critical in other areas of the infrastructure if you have access to email and telephones you can hobble along. This is the primary reason we moved our main mail services from Exchange over to Gmail. The $50/user/year cost was acceptable to us in order to ensure that critical part of our infrastructure was operational. Once we had transitioned from exchange TO Gmail there was no "clean" way to remove exchange from our environment. In fact if there is no good way to not install exchange. The SBS components are SO tightly integrated that things begin to break down once you remove one part of it, even if it is not completely necessary. There are a bevy of things that are similarly required arbitrarily. Updating, backup, firewall, faxing.

  • Backup Solution

    SBS2003 does backups, but it misses the last critical step. Firstly it favors setting up full system backups, and the reading materials strongly suggest a daily schedule. In my sittuation that means a daily single file of about 30-40 GB. Now that excludes a few folders like the updated service packs etc that are easily accessible online and are not "installed apps" per-se. I have a drive on the server that I use to backup the server to, which is a sub-optimal solution. The real trick... and the killer for most backup scenarios is where is/are the off site options? My solution is not great, but it works ok. We purchased 2 500GB external hard drives that connect to the LAN. These are switched out weekly. We keep 2 weeks of daily full system backups (10 x30-40) plus as many weekly full system backups that will fit on each of the drives. In this sittuation the most we would ever lose is 1 week of data if the building burned to the ground on a friday. This scenario works ok, in theory, but all of the scripting/logic that is used to copy the large files over the network is coded by hand... by me, and I am not a coder. So it fails on occasion, and that is bad for a backup scenario. What would be better would be Weekly full backups and daily (or a few times a day) incremental backups directly to the NAS. This is NOT possible without the purchase of more software.


There are plenty of things that I like about SBS2003, but they are all things that are central to Microsoft's polcy of non-interoperability vs the fact that Microsoft has an inherently better product. They certainly do seem to be backing down from that stance with the release of some API's that make the ability of projects like SAMBA to interact more successfully with Windows.

So what is my alternative? Well I have two that I am actively pursuing, both of them Linux solutions to this common "Small Business Server" problem.
  • SME Server

    this is a prepackaged Cent-OS distribution that takes most of the hard parts of setting up a small business network out of the equation. It supports things like Roaming Profiles, User Startup scripts, mail, vpn, backup etc. It is a great package that brings it all together pretty well.

  • Do what Linux does best

    And that is to provide a customized solution to my specific problem. I found a few tutorials online that have helped me to get to the point where I can have users logging on to my Domain, hosted on a Linux domain controller. I can install/configure/uninstall any of the components in the SBS equation that I do not need, and switch out the ones that are present for something that fits my needs much better. It comes at a great cost however, and that is time. The amount of time it is going to take me to setup and get working the way I want is several factors more this way, but the solution is exactly what I want... in so far as the technology allows for.


So as you can probably guess, I'm opting for the fully customized Linux alternative. I'm still in the testing phase at the moment, configuring a virtual lab of computers that are acting as server and clients (both Linux and Windows) in order to hammer out my plan of attack. This is not to say that I am 100% set with this option, but the main advantage of testing the most desirable/most difficult solution first is that if it ends up not working, you will usually be pleasantly surprised at how little time it can take to implement one of the other solutions.

I'll try and keep this blog updated on my progress, so far I am impressed with how cool learning about this stuff has been.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trying out something new

I am trying out a few new looks for the site. If you notice something funky it is probably just a temporary thing.

Support change in our political process!

Lawrence Lessig gives a good overview of why change in our political process is needed (in his view) and how to effect such change. Plus he has a great presentation style.


Christmas'ed

DIY Canon for Christmas!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

How does this guy still have a tv show?

This guy is an idiot. Another fine example of his idiocy.

Will it Blend? LIghters?

Yes we can!


Swarm bots FTW!

These robots are super cool. They self-organize to form a team in order to accomplish a goal that none of them could perform individually. The best part is they do it without being told specific instructions. They are modeled after "swarm" type insects (ants, bees, etc). In this case they are "rescuing" a child. While the practicality of these specific robots may not be all that useful I can imagine LOTS of scenarios where a swarm of robots can be used to provide services.

Someone fell through the ice in the lake... dump a few dozen diving robots in the water and they will communicate with each other and organize a search of the treacherous underwater scape in order to find/pull to safety someone in danger. Obviously that is just one example, but you can see how something kile this might be very effective.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Might Be Elitist #1

If you thought this type of ignorance (like racism) had disappeared long ago. Sadly neither is true:

http://allforlinux.com/2008/12/it-teachers-kicked-her-student-because-of-linux/

Look! Snow Idiots

Hilarious video of people being stupid in the snow. This is a Western Washington tradition. I hope no one got hurt.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What to do about the stock market sittuation?

Wait it out, in the long run it will likely benefit you.

That is what A post over at Get Rich Slowly is claiming and the reasoning seems to apply. Statistically at least the market will rebound from this lull/recession/depression/retirement evisceration.

If you are younger (20's or 30's) now is a great time to throw some money into the stock market. If you are a bit older, your risks are hopefully shifted to protect you from these types of troubles (bonds/cd's/etc).

About the only people who should not be throwing money at the stock market at this point are those with a lot of debt, or people who believe the financial system is on the verge of collapse, in which case what are you doing reading this? Shouldn't you be off preparing for the anarchy/lawlessness that is yet to come?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shooting!

Out shooting today with Laura. First we went to freeway park, now we are headed to uw to shoot some of the cool buildings. FUN!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rent vs. Buy in/around Seattle

A while back I was looking into buying a condo/townhome in/around the Seattle area. There is appeal in setting up shop in an interesting neighborhood. The problem was two fold, I had a credit issue (college was tough, and it is repairing) and the cost of living in Seattle is so darn expensive. According to this article over at Seattle Bubble renting is in fact cheaper then buying in the long run (contrary to everything you usually hear). The trouble comes in actually socking the savings away. That's always been my trouble...save save sa... oh look at that shiny new widget.

That is my struggle.

Lego WANT!

These are so cool. Lego rings made from silver that you can put ACTUAL Lego bricks on! ZOMG!

http://gizmodo.com/5101650/lego-silver-rings-will-brick-your-marriage

Friday, November 21, 2008

Palin Loves Killing!

Despite the disturbing nature of what takes place in the background... this is a pretty hilarious situation when you take the words she speaks into account.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Creepy Dude's webcam

UPDATE 11/22/2008 Video no longer available. :(

Awesome:
Live streaming video by Ustream

He's actually not creepy...

Bouncint Water

GE has developed some seriously hydrophobic surfaces that cause water to "bounce". It is pretty amazing video footage.


via: http://gizmodo.com/5094546/i-bet-youve-never-seen-water-bounce-before

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving: Learn or Die!

How to carve a Turkey. Good to know!


Not sure what Phishing is?

Most of the people who might read this blog probably already know how to spot and deal with phishing email they get... some might not though. Here is a video in plain english:

Via Get Rich Slowly: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/11/18/phishing-scams-in-plain-english/

Release Your Inner Artist

Microsoft unveils its newest Zune add. Almost NSFW


via Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5092185/zune-spec-ad-is-gross-and-nsfw-but-at-least-its-memorable

Leggo Keeps You Safe!

I would totally get one of these, but couldn't someone just cut open the bricks with a saw?.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

A note about healthcare in America

An article over at ARS Technica talking about a new report from the Commonwealth Fund sparked me to put virtual pen to paper to lay out some of what I think is important to health care in America.

I'll leave you to read the article and/or the Commonwealth Fund report, but here is what I found most interesting:

  • Of the 8 nations who were included in the report the US was the only nation who did NOT provide universal health care coverage.

  • Costs per patient per year are more then double in the US over other OECD nations.

  • 15% (40 million or so) of the US population has no health care coverage.

  • The US Ranks at or near the bottom of nations in the developed world for the following metrics:

    • Life Expectancy

    • Infant Mortality

    • Years Without Disease (disease adjusted life expectancy



Of the 8 nations included in the report all except the US provided universal healthcare. Each goes about it in a unique way, some providing a mix of public/private providers, some have no private insurance, some have copays to a certain limit based on income, some provide completely free access.

Of the patients involved in the survey all said that the systems needed improving, but those in the US system had the greatest number of negative things to say. We complained about the amount of time (as well as the Germans) it took to get care, the relevance (as well as the French) of the care we got, and the cost (as well as no one LMAO) of our care with 41% of us saying the care cost $1,000 or more in the last year.

More then half (seriously!?!?) of the us participants said they skipped prescriptions or care because of the cost associated.

Apparently the ONLY metric that the US was ahead of the pack on was providers involving patients in care.

This is all very interesting to me. When I speak with my friends who oppose universal health care some of the items they cite as reasons to stay away are:

  1. Waits are longer for services

  2. Service quality suffers

  3. Services for life threatening items take too long


It seems that 1 & 2 are really just not true. Sure you will have some cases, but that is true in any system, and on average the 750-2,600 adults from each country who took part in this report seem to think that there is less wait in a universal system. In addition they have higher quality of life (infant mortality is lower, years without disease is higher, life expectancy is higher).

As for point 3, I think the argument is largely moot when we have 40 million people in this country uninsured. Not getting services because you can not afford the treatment is far worse having a wait for the services.

Now I have some specific statistics I can call on when I'm debating this with my friends.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dan Savage vs. Tony Perkins

Dan Savage takes on an advocate for the Mormon Church's support of Proposition 8 in California. I seriously can't believe this was passed... seriously.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A special comment on Proposition 8

With his wonderful eloquence, Kieth Olberman makes Prop 8 supporters question thier reasons for support... well hopefully.


Cool Bullet TIme + 1

A cool evolution of the bullet time technology that blew away movie goers in the Matrix movies.

And a making of movie:



via Gizmodo

Monday, November 10, 2008

Does this worry anyone else?

This is really worriesome to me:

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/President-elect-Barack-Obama-Barack-Obama-Cheaper-Than-Dirt-President-elect-Fort-Worth2C-Texas/ss/events/pl/020807obama/im:/081106/480/9ff6a19c736a4a1bb7e6a39fdb8ae11e/

From the photo: A poster showing Barack Obama is seen in the background as customers line up to look at firearms at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Cheaper Than Dirt gun store recorded a record day of gun sales the day after the election of President-elect Barack Obama and is having trouble keeping up with the demand for assault riffles.
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Yikes....

Matrix runs windows.


Lawrence Lessig at the Web 2.0 Conference

A pretty great presentation from L. Lessig again.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proposition 1 opponent jumps ship?

Ok, so what if it was an accident, it is still funny.


Via: Seattle Transit Blog

Microsoft Second Light looks flippin awesome.

This is really cool technology, using image switching in a SUPER cool way to do some really neat things with a "surface" like display. Hopefully we will see this kind of innovation and technology in use pretty soon.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mineral Oil cooled PC in an aquarium

Badically a step by step on how to put together a PC cooled by mineral oil.


Telephone company family tree

Family Tree of Telecommunication - Neatorama.com

This is a great diagram to help you put your head around how your phone company (mobile or otherwise) came to be. At least in the US

Friday, October 24, 2008

Financial crisis compared to other crashes.

Seattle Bubble, A Seattle real estate and financial news blog has up a comparison of the current market sittuation and the crashes in the market of old.
http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2008/10/24/comparing-past-market-crashes/

Particularly cool was this chart:
Click for a full version of the image

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Literal music videos



Bus Transportation in Boulder is driven bottom up, not top down

Kind of a cheesy overview of the transit system in Boulder, CO.
Via Seattle Transit Blog: http://seattletransitblog.com/2008/10/22/now-this-is-how-bus-transit-should-be-done/

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Watchmen trailer.

Gizmodo has a nifty video up of the new Watchmen trailer. I think I'll have to go see that one!
http://gizmodo.com/5067088/new-watchmen-trailer-offers-up-new-footage-same-blurry-blue-genitals

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The credit crisis in lyments terms

A great, simple explanation of how the current economic crisis

The credit crisis as Antarctic expedition from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Via Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/5066440/credit-crisis-explained-as-an-antarctic-expedition

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Even Graffiti in seattle is cool

Some graffiti and some Citizen Cope for a tuesday afternoon:

Graffiti in Seattle from Matt O'Brien on Vimeo.
via: Seattlest

Oh and by the way... Vimeo is the best video sharing service around. >youtube for sheezie

Mint.com out of Beta

Mint.com is a really cool way to track your spending. I have been using it for a few months now and it makes tracking what I spend across MANY bank accounts really easy. They just released it from beta today and the investment tracking feature looks really flippin cool.

Check out Mint if you want one place to track your spending. It's free!

8 Ways to Maintain a Clean, Lean Ubuntu Machine - Make Tech Easier

8 Ways to Maintain a Clean, Lean Ubuntu Machine - Make Tech Easier

Make Tech Easier gives a rundown of 8 things you can do to clean up some unused stuff on your ubuntu installation.

Jim Ellis on Proposition !

An Op-Ed by Jim Ellis and Aubrey Davis in the PI:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/383104_proponepro14.html

via Seattle Transit Blog

Monday, October 13, 2008

DRM? No thanks!

This is why I will NEVER buy DRM'd music.
Via xkcd.com
http://xkcd.com/488/

Monday, October 6, 2008

John McCain and his links to the Savings and Loan Scandal of the 80's

As if you needed more reason to NOT vote for this guy? Do you think he will be able to help with our current financial sittuation? Me either!


Atmosphir: Free cross platform game.

About Atmosphir Read a review at Linux Haxor

I've long been a fan of cross platform games. Gaming was for several years the device keeping me latched to Windows. "But how can I play my games if I'm an Uber Linux dude?!?!" I would ask. Then I realized that I hardly ever play games anyway.

Every now and then I do like to loose myself in a game, and so I have begun to embrace the console mode of gaming. That works ok, but SOME games simply play better on a PC. Enter the cross platform gaming nitch.

The Pangea of gaming, where it doesn't matter what OS you run, it only matters if you desire to play a game or not. Across the board we are not there yet, but inroads are being made.

Atmosphir is one such inroad, and I heartily applaud the developers for making the game:
  • Free!

  • Cross Platform


I have not yet played, but rest assured I will check this out.



Thursday, October 2, 2008

She sticks the landing!

I'm putting it out there now, Palin is going to biff big time in the VP debates tonight. She is going to flounder and fail in many big ways and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

A highlight reel of her recent awesomeness to fail.


Considering not voting?

Well don't not vote.

REGISTER!
http://maps.google.com/vote


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

HD HTPC Video Card

This new card announced by ATI looks to be pretty cheap and has all the makings to become a very great HTPC video card. http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/407510677/

Previous cards suffered because they did not allow audio via the hdmi connection *sad times* meaning that you couldn't get (or it was SUPER HARD)HD audio to a reciever in any sane way. Now... one cable and you got HD video and audio. WEEEE.

Now if we could just get some of this cable card mess sorted out I MIGHT consider ordering cable LOL.

Nifty video about a photographer

This Photographer uses a LARGE camera to take some interesting photos.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

More lies from the Prop 1 No Campaign

Seattle Transit Blog has a good summation of a summation article in the PI about Cost to expand light rail under debate.

Now my summation: The No campaign is using a questionable way to count the amount of taxes collected for Proposition 1 in order to scare people into thinking that Proposition 1 is TOO expensive.

Rather then go into detail on why, I'll leave you to find the information on the blog posting here

It boils down to... if you are interested in seeing some REAL long term strategy for dealing with traffic in this area then Proposition 1 is the way to make that happen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boards of Canada and computer programming

A visual programing language produced by MIT called Processing produced this visual set to the music of Boards of Canada <

Metamorphosis from Glenn Marshall on Vimeo.

Intriguing

This type of night/light effect is intriguing to me. There are a few Sprint (I think) commercials with it, but this guy did it with a simple keychain led thingy and some time.

Light-Paint Piano Player from Ryan Cashman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More lies!

More documented lies from Palin... Her chances of becoming president if her and McCain win the election are not bad... do YOU think she would be a good president?

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/the-twelve-odd.html

Don't let her lies fool you!

A rundown of some facts disproving the false statements by Palin that her (Palin's) inexperience is "typical" of VP's of the past.


Oil and Electricity!

Financial news for today. Chrysler announces that they are moving forward with 3 electric cars. On the same day the price of oil fell. Ok not a great correlation... but one can hope that it becomes a trend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Useless I tell ya!

I said it before here. These adds are a bit... well pointless.

Looks like the folks at Penny Arcade agree.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/9/15/

Friday, September 12, 2008

Telcos FTL

It is pretty crazy that in the same case a company would sue a city for trying to provide services that the company refuses to supply and yet claim that collaborating with the city would be anti-competitive.

http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/BAaf/~3/390250299/20080911-telco-to-town-were-suing-you-because-we-care.html

More after the jump....

We face a similar sittuation in Seattle (in the city limits). I'm stuck with Comcast for my high speed internet because the molasses slow offerings from Qwest get my panties in a bunch. Sure Comcast will one day roll out some higher speed services, but it will no doubt be at a cost premium and they will still likely be behind what the likes of Verizon FIoS is offering.

Well why doesn't Verizon turn its cable laying machine towards the city (from the east side or north end of the lake where they have Verizon FIoS service). Well that would be because Qwest has an exclusive right to the telco in the city. Are you fucking kidding me?

So if Seattle decided that we were not going to wait for Qwest to get off their broke asses and lay some quality bandwidth pipes and that we were going to do it as a municipal network... very likely Qwest would sue, and delay delay delay until they could start their own project so they wouldn't miss out on funds.

It seems like it is time to break the Telco exclusivity rights that they have held a little too long in this country and let some true competition in. Or do what other first world countries have done and make the internet a utility run by the state. Either way the old way sucks and needs changed... where is Obama?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Smashing Javascript

Smashing magazine with a great roundup of Javascript tools for web developers.

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/11/75-really-useful-javascript-techniques/

More on the lie

Another illustration of the lies that the McCain campaign perpetuates.

Seems off base?

Maybe I'm naive or uninformed, but the exchange between Ken Jennings' Wife and the waitress in this blog post seems exactly like a friendly conversation no matter how I am thinking about the waitress (black vs white).

Am I missing something?

Not just a pretty face

Damon on Palin.


"I want to know if she thinks that Dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago... I want to know if she banned or tried to ban books." EXACTLY! Why don't we know this stuff? What are they hiding her for? Where are the interviews?

There is a 1 in 3 chance that flat tire face won't make it through his 1st term... yikes.

Not that I'm trying to copy Kris or anything. He just posts a lot of cool stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Palin stops here!

A nice UnNews article on the baby baby of Bristol Palin

UnNews:Sarah Palin's daughter's unborn child is pregnant

Choice quotes: "When asked how a nine-month-old baby could have climbed into Palin's uterus and impregnated her negative-four-month-old fetus, sources close to Palin reportedly said "It's not like it's Fort Knox up in there. You can pretty much just walk through the front gates. One time, she was wearing a skirt, and we were in math class, and a doorknob fell out. A fucking doorknob.""

Is McCain a decent person?

I think not, and to everyone out there who thinks otherwise I encourage you to look at what he is saying and what the lies he is telling, or enabling by not refuting is saying about his character. Do you want that kind of man as our president?

McCain's Integrity

Small town Values

Pigs and Lipstick

Such a crock
Pigs and Lipstick

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tea time

Gotta feed the monkey.

Lunch has made me...

full. As expected!

Yummy Pho from Hue.

Lessig on his entry in barak book

The embed is not working, so check out his site with the video on it: http://lessig.org/blog/2008/09/barackbook_fact_check.html

Monday, September 8, 2008

Drip!






IMGP0835


Originally uploaded by Plecebo


DOF practice

DUCKS!






IMGP6179


Originally uploaded by Plecebo


Who doesn't love ducks!?

Sunrise at Apollo's Temple


Bitchen sunrise at the temple of Apollo :)

Here we go!

Exciting new content! WEEE!

Lessig on the CC

A good overview of the CC movement and also some very entertaining digital remixes.
 

Best Computer Setup EVER!

This is probably the coolest computer (or screen setup) I've ever seen!

 LOL nevermind what the advert is for ;).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Palin Fallicy!

Sarah Palin speaking at the RNC:
 
 *shudder* And so it begins.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do you have time to think?

David Levy is a professor at my alma mater, and was my graduate school adviser. Excited to see him presenting at Google.
 

Chrome... shiny!

Google has released its own browser: Chrome http://www.google.com/chrome ARS Technica Reviews: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080901-google-opens-up-new-front-in-browser-wars-with-chrome.html One of the most impressive technical innovations that Google has brought to Chrome is a multiprocess design. So if you are surfing to myspace and it crashes your browser... you don't have to worry about filling out that job application for the 3rd time. you can just close the tab for myspace and be done with that unholy cest pit. I haven't had a chance to use it yet... but it seems really promising!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Smashing Magazine: Blog engines


Smashing magazine wrote an article up on the top 10 web blogging engines. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/29/10-weblog-engines-reviewed/

I have a special place in my heart for Drupal (this site runs on drupal if you couldn't tell). Mostly because of its tight integration with a taxonomy, and the incredible versatility of the overall package. I've used most of the top 10, they are all fun to play with, and great ways to learn stuff about what makes the most sense to you when setting up a website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Yummy or not?


 from the "meca" for fried oreo's http://fairy.mahdzan.com/story/189.asp

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'll see you at the debate bitches!

Paris Hilton accepts your challenge of presidency! FIGHT!
See more funny videos at Funny or Die
this is in response to this video: Man he's old.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

April from the wedding


0112, originally uploaded by fotophly.
A great photo of April shot at Dani's wedding

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Kid on the Block


A new internet search site Cuil (http:www.cuil.com) has lauched. They claim to have indexed 3x's the number of pages as google and 10x's as many as live.com.  Impressive numbers, but I'm not sure they have it just right yet.

First off, they have some dead links... yea i'm not talking about their search results... i'm talking about pages off thier "information" section http://www.cuil.com/info/ of the cuil website... oops is right guys! If you want people to think you got your shit together and that you can compete with Google... probably should have your site figured out and locked down... and I don't know... working, before you launch.

Secondly, I'm not sure if this is some cool feature of the search, but they have what seems like mostly random images associated with their search results. Like... why is there a photo of direction on how to hook up a washing machine (or what looks like a photo of a dog sled race) associated with a dead link to what is supposed to be an Eve Online mining guide (an online video game)? ahhh what?

Thirdly, I have no idea how the results are ranked... or how current they are. Maybe this is a function of my Google paradigm... but I like to know how results are ranked in relation to each other. So is the result at the top of the 2nd column more relevant then the 2nd result in the 1st column? If not then why is the 5th most relevant item pushed off the page, while the 10th most relevant sits at the top just to the right of the #1 result? I'm not saying its bad... but it is confusing, because I don't know what is going on.

Fourthly, and this is mostly a personal thing. Even though they have indexed 3x's the number of articles they seem to be missing a few. Namely, THIS website. A quick search on Google for "schwerzler" puts this site: Schwerzler.com at the top of the search results. Cuil doesn't even have schwerzler.com IN its search results.... I mean come on... it is IN the domain name. Rest assured I like being the #1 search result for Schwerzler on google, but I don't need to be #1... I do however expect to be included in the results for schwerzler. Maybe in the 121,617,892,992 (as of 11:24 AM July 28th, 2008) pages they have indexed has not brought them to schwerzler.com yet... but Google found us... and ranked us highly relevant to people looking for information about "schwerzler".... just sayin.

The site claims that Cuil does search in a new and exciting way... but i'm not sure how they expose that to the user, and the site being unable to provide the information is not helping much either.

Hopefully they will adjust after the release and we will see some cool new search technology coming from Cuil... they seem to have some talented people, now lets see what they can do.

Sorry!


Partially because of my own negligence and partially because of a failing of the "auto renew" feature of the Go Daddy domain registration/renewal system the domain schwerzler.com lapsed and I supposed technically was not owned by me for a few days.

Some of you may have noticed a page similar to the one attached saying the site was parked "free of charge" by Go Daddy.

Apologies to anyone who may have been inconvenienced by the interruption. Once discovered on Monday morning the sittuation was fixed ASAP.

It still leaves a bad taste in my mouth however, GoDaddy didn't notify me that my account was expiring, nor that it had expired, nor that the auto renewal did not work for some reason (probably because I'd long since cancelled the credit card I used to originally register the account), nor that they had pointed my domain to one of their "make Go Daddy money via our advertising landing page" sites.

It is not entirely their fault, I should have been more diligent in making sure the domain was renewed, but at the same time... some communication would have been a nice touch, given that they contact me constantly for "upgrading" my account anyway... UGH.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A break from the norm.


A friend linked in a website on twitter and I've spent a great deal of time lost in it this morning. It is contageous, and it is spreading to the people around me.

It is a touching chronicle of a mans relationship with his father. Not only that it has an interesting navigation method.

I highly recomend you check it out!

http://www.dayswithmyfather.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Be Warned


Sound Transit announced its 15 year plan. Take a look <a href="http://seattletransitblog.com/2008/07/10/the-15-year-plan-that-will-knock-your-socks-off/">here</a>.

This posting serves as fair warning, that if this makes it on the ballot and the citizens in the Sound Transit voting district vote this down.... I'm seriously going to consider moving to Vancouver.

People know we need transit! They KNOW we need solutions that will serve this area for generations, not just for the next decade. They KNOW that the trend of living in the suburbs (which are getting further away from the city centers) and working in the city is not a good permanent solution.  This connects Northgate to the already underway UW light rail. It connects the east side (Bellevue first, then Redmond) to the nearly complete mainline. This eventually punches rail all the way down to FEDERAL WAY (I honestly didn't expect to see this on the ballot this year) which is WAY close to Tacoma.

You could live in a denser urban setting in Northgate (or federal way) and be commuting to Redmond with little or no troubles.

This is a great plan... and if it comes up for voting... unless you are strongly opposed (not even on the fence) about supporting transit, then you should probably vote for it.

DO IT OR I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE WIENER!

Beautiful Nature desktop images


Smashing Magazine consistently amazes me with thier collection of "free" cool stuff. This time it is Nature Wallpapers

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/11/50-remarkable-nature-wallpapers/

Rick Astley'ed

iPhone 3g Rundown


Ars Technica has a nice rundown of the new iPhone 3g compared to the old. For those interested here is the link:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/iphone3g-review.ars

Fiest on Sesame Street

Umbrealla @ subpop


Umbrealla @ subpop, originally uploaded by Plecebo.
FUN!

It still hurts.


It happens every time I go on the fucking site... GOD DAMN IT!

It is the exact reason I have avoided going to mySpace since January. I had given it up. However, there is a little app for the iPhone that allows you to easily keep up with myspace in just a few clicks. At first I promised I wouldn't go to the site... then I installed the app and promised I wouldn't look, then I looked and it happened again. I HATE IT!.

Its not even anything specific that gets me upset... but just the act of looking sets me off. I don't know why I do it... but I've done it again, and some how it still fucks me up every time I do it. :(

*sigh*

I hesitate to even mention anything, because it seems like such a minor thing, but I figure if I can't vent on my own blog then where can I vent?

By all accounts today was a great day! Then this one thing happens and its like none of that matters. The fact that I'm happier then I have been in a long time (maybe ever). That I have lots of really wonderful things going on in my life, the fact that I'm doing good things with my life and I love who I am... all out the window because of some bullshit on myspace.

UGH! It really pisses me off. Then I think about "why is it pissing you off so much" and that inevitably ends in a spiral of self hate...

Fuck IT! I'm going to watch my favorite movie and self medicate for a while...

This is bullshit and I need to figure out how to stop it!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 0.5

After half a day or so with my new iPhone I think it is safe to say that I really like it. Having been without my old phone for the past 2 weeks it was nice to have a working phone that I didn't buy for $9.95 at a drugstore (it served its purpose). It seems like they have vastly improved on lots of the already cool features of the phone, as well as having done some user research and targeted the things that bothered people about iPhone 1.0. I like all the main stuff that you may or may not have heard on the news like:
  • GPS: Seriously when you are outside it is pretty accurate. It could tell which side of the street I was on LOL.
  • App Store: This is just a great feature, and one they probably should have released a while ago. I think this will almost defenitely keep me from Jailbreaking my phone this time.
  • 3G Network: I seem to get pretty good coverage around my house and Seattle in general, which is something I was concerned about. The network is fast. And 3G sounds cooler then EDGE :D
      There are more from the list of "standards" that people always say. But there are also small things like the new plastic back rather then metal. I know what you are thinking "What plastic > metal?!?!?" I was sceptical too, but the plastic back sticks in your hand much better, and when you are using apps like this. in which you basically pretend your phone is a light saber and wing it around to create the cool sound effects, you want your phone to not go anyplace. We learned from the Wii that people swinging things will break expensive electronics... imagine winging your iPhone into your TV :( sad times. I'm sure I will come up with more stuff I really like, this is just the beginning. P.S. I'm still not thrilled about the way that launch day went... reports from Bellevue put people STILL in line at the Bellevue apple store well into the night.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Cat


Summer Cat, originally uploaded by lulu.photo.
reminds me of yoda. I miss him :(

I get no satisfaction!


So due to the fact that my old iphone touchscreen cracked a few weeks ago, I decided I should get a 3g iphone on the day it comes out (July 11, 2008... or today). It was supposed to go down like this. You go to the store, buy your phone, they activate it in the store, and you walk out amazed at how easy and smooth the machines aptitude for having you open your wallet and taking your money.

Oh if only it were that easy.

Wait in line for 2.5 hours (glad I didn't arrive after 6:30... the people shortly behind me were not garunteed the phone they wanted.

They can't activate in the store... not a huge deal, you will just have to activate at home. But you can't walk out of the store and marvel at the greatness of the 3g technology :(.

Get it home... plug it in and away you go... er no wait... somethings wrong :(. It won't activate.... seems funky. Freak out for a minute, then start checking message boards and see that it is a common problem.

So it appears that apple underestimated the demand that all these iphone activations had on its network... right?

Simple bullshit. Apple is a company who VERY tightly controls when and how many items are sold. They knew EXACTLY (to the precise number) of iPhones that would be activated today. They knew EXACTLY how the load was going to be... that there were going to be hundreds of thousands of activations from 8-9am as each timezone reached the coveted 3g moment.

They dropped the ball.... I feel lied to.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Arboretum at Night


The Arboretum at Night, originally uploaded by Cap'n Surly.
Cool Night Shots of the Arboretum

Rad

Look at these extremely talented belly dancers. Thanks for sharing Sara

More from Progressive Oregon


Oregon has a measure making its way through the legislative process to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults 21+

Good?

http://feeds.gothamistllc.com/click.phdo?i=840df7813ee9cc869abda15659021074

Zangief


The wonderful art of Penny Arcade strikes again, this time rendering in full detail the hilarity of the Zangief patch.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2008/07/09/street-fighter/

This is nuts


This is nuts.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/norfolk/7496923.stm

WTF? Katchup as a major vegetable source

The NYT has an article on the top 5 foods worth purchasing organic versions of, you know if you had to choose. It is pretty crazy to think that many people get a significant portion of thier veggie intake from Katchup, but it put the condiment at #4 on the NYT list.

 4. Ketchup: For some families, ketchup accounts for a large part of the household vegetable intake. About 75 percent of tomato consumption is in the form of processed tomatoes, including juice, tomato paste and ketchup. Notably, recent research has shown organic ketchup has about double the antioxidants of conventional ketchup.

 Full article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/five-easy-ways-to-go-organic/

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Create an emergency recovery disk


Linux.com has an article up detailing how you can create your own recovery disk from an ubuntu 8.04 cd.

http://www.linux.com/feature/137524

This is a great tool for anyone who does support and has gotten those calls late at night calls.  "I lost it! My computers brain is dead." followed by eyerolls.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vintage Seattle

The site Vintage Seattle has up a great panorama of Seattle in 1907. It is really fun to see the skyline pre-skyscrapers and to think what our great city was like back in 1907 (Denny hill... stolen by aliens). http://www.vintageseattle.org/2008/07/02/seattle-panorama-o-rama-no-3/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pipes FTW!


This is just wicked cool technology, and an extremely fun UI. Though nothing immediate pops to mind I am SURE I can find cool ways to use this!
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/

 Check out the video/mini demo here: http://www.jumpcut.com/fullscreen?id=F4396574585311DC87A2000423CF0184&type=clip

Friday, June 27, 2008

I do suck!


You suck at photoshop!

http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/06/27/you-suck-at-photoshop-11/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Style Switchers


These are nifty, definitely to be included in a future project!

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/25/style-switchers-contest-results/

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The new form of usability?

I was looking at the style switcher contest over at Smashing Magazine when I had a revelation... What if you used this idea as a way to usability test your product? Here is the concept:
  • create a highly customizable version of your site
  • break your site into discrete elements and make each element editable
  • let users of your product make changes to each element
  • record the changes that each user makes
  • aggregate your observations to find which layouts people preffer
  • make those layouts the "default" choices with the option to change to the OTHER most popular
I'm thinking in terms of websites such as amazon.com. Allow the visitors to customize what they are seeing on the page and where that is placed. Especially with a large site you will see in a matter of hours (maybe days) what configurations are the most popular and can start to make changes to your default to better suit the needs of your users. Is it just me or does this seem obvious? Anyone know people who are doing this?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Astronaut? Musician? Politician? Rich? Famous? In love? Another nifty webapp that lets you see the aspirations of other visitors to the site in real time! Not particularly innovative, but a fun idea.
 
 I want to be me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why rail makes sense over BRT

Seattle Transit Blog has up an article laying out why rail makes the most sense for our major transit corridors over BRT technology. Check out the article here: Why BRT Doesn't Make Sense It is a good article and it lays out well the issues surrounding the debate between Light Rail and BRT buses in Seattle.